We interviewed Atharva (current captain), Hrishikesh (ex-captain) and Utkarsh (driver) of the Stallion Motorsport team. Stallion Motorsport of Sinhgad Institutes, Pune is a team of enthusiastic people from various departments of SKNCOE. They’re one of the few teams in India to perform and compete with the best teams in the world at FSG, and the top competitors at Formula Bharat every year.
Inside stallion: Stallion comprises of various departments namely suspension, brakes, power train, drive train, wheel assembly, steering, etc. For suspension, we build a rest brake suspension altogether. It’s a double wishbone suspension, where in primarily the weight and the criteria of maintaining the tire contact patches the main motive behind building the suspension system. In the past few years we built a low CG (center of gravity) suspension. With 20-30% reduction in each year. Cumulatively, we achieved a 60% reduction so far.
We asked the current captain of Team Stallion Atharva about the leadership qualities a leader must possess. Here’s what he had to say about it: Its all about how you lead the team and how you keep every member motivated. Everyone has different opinions. Everyone’s opinion is respected and counted. A captain also has to keep the team bonded so that whenever there is a down phase in the team, everyone should have each other’s back so we come back stronger. The bond is what matters the most.
Q. How did you join the team? How did you get into this and how did you get the role?
Hrishikesh : I’m currently the ex-captain of stallion motorsport. I joined the team in my second year. I came to know about the team during the on going recruitment at the time. I joined in my first year and left the team due to some personal reasons. I was in the suspension department in the beginning. I was the suspension lead in my third year and a team captain in my final year.
What is you teams greatest strength?
Atharva: I’ll tell you about the incident that happened in Austria. The rear wheel came off and we had to manufacture a component that could have been manufactured in Austria but it was costly and we had to attend an event in Germany in a couple days. So, we manufactured the component in India and sent it to Germany in two days and the judges were astonished by the effort. Ergo, the teamwork and co-ordination are very important for the team.
Hrishikesh: It’s the people that matter the most. You build an A team you build an A car. People over cars, always.
Here’s about Stallion’s spectacular performance in Formula Bharat 2020.
Q. What goals did you have for Formula Bharat this year? Have you achieved them?
Hrishikesh: Currently, we are fourth in India. We’re the first runner up in the cost event. This season was the best season for the team so far. We performed really well in dynamic as we targeted. Currently, we stand second in the country in terms of dynamics.
Q. What was the most heartbreaking moment in Formula Bharat for y’all?
Atharva : There is no bigger heartbreaking moment in Formula Bharat than not winning it. With every season, we learn where we lack and what improvements need to be done for winning the next season. I see the trophy right in front of me.
Utkarsh : It was not getting the lap times as fast as expected. We’d practiced here on the track and I had a lot of expectations. A lot of factors contributed to not getting a faster lap time.
Hrishikesh : It was in 2018. We were really close to winning the entire event. Unfortunately, we ended up blowing the entire intake. So that was the the the most heartbreaking moment for me.
Q. How much does winning at Formula Bharat mean to you?
Hrishikesh: We had a down phase in 2017. We were the last to clear the technical inspection. In 2018 we ended up being the first one to clear the TI, among all the Indian teams. That was a big achievement. 2019 we ended up blowing the intake and 2020 we finished fourth. It was a well-directed effort, but we still couldn’t win. Winning the champion trophy means a lot. These four years we’d been lagging to get the trophy. It really means a lot to all of us. To get to the podium once and for all. Next year we’ll be competing in Formula Bharat with our first ever electric car. We’re really confident for the next year. We’re surely gonna win next time.
Q. Tell us something about EGRES (Jump out of the car in 5s)
Atharva: It’s a procedure in technical inspection. If there’s an incident in a car or engine blew off where the drives safety is at stake, you have to jump out of the car in five seconds.
Hrishikesh: Basically, the driver is trapped in he has some safety equipment with him. There’s a kill switch on the dashboard. He has to push it. And has to unstrap himself and be there on the ground in 5 seconds.
Q. Did your driver beat last year’s lap record?
Utkarsh: There is an event called auto cross where you have to drive the car only for one lap where the lap is of about 1.3 kilometers, where you’ve to go as fast as you can. So, this year at FB, each driver got two attempts. As each team has 2 drivers, we get four attempts. In my first attempt, I went pretty okay. It was first ever drive at the event set and that particular track. So, I was nervous for sure. I didn’t get the lap analyzed during the first track. My timing was around one minute 30 seconds. During the second lap I had to breathe in and breathe out to make my mind calm. I pictured the whole track in a couple of seconds and that boosted my confidence. In the second attempt I got a lap time of 1 minutes 28 seconds. That was the fastest auto cross lap among all the drivers in the team. In Austria and Germany, it was 105 seconds on a track of 1.2 kilometers.
In India, as of now there are 12 electric cars. There are 3 segments. It’s a formula student competition that originated in Germany and from there it migrated to other countries. There are 3 categories, combustion, electric vehicle and the third is driverless. Our ultimate goal is to win at FSG. Next year onwards, there’s gonna be electric and driverless only. We’re building our first ever electric car this year. The electric vehicle is normal formula student vehicle where you swap the engine with the motor and the battery.Current EV scenario in India
Brief summary of Stallion’s Achievements:
- Ranked 5th in Formula Bharat 2017
- Ranked 5th in Formula Bharat 2018
- Won the Cost Award in FB 2019, Ranked fifth in India.
- In 2019, Stallion got qualified for Austria and Germany, the two most prestigious events in the world. For Austria Stallion was the only Indian team to get qualified.
- Ranked 4th in Cost in Austria 2019.
- Ranked 25th among 45 other International Teams.
- Achieved an acceleration of 4.5 seconds for a 75 m straight patch.
- Was the only Indian team to clear final endurance and all the dynamic events in the final endurance run.
- Ranked 4th in Formula Bharat 2020 in the country.
- Ranked first in Skid pad in FB 2020.
- Ranked 2nd in overall dynamics for FB 2020.
- First runner up in cost for FB 2020.
They have been featured in media as well: